Monday, March 5, 2018

Krieghoff 1848 Paddle Replica

Work has been progressing on a paddle replica based on the artwork of Cornelius Krieghoff. As mentioned in this previous post, Krieghoff made an oil in 1847 entitled " Aboriginal Camp in Lower Canada"  which featured a brightly coloured paddle blade with a chevron motif. 

Painting | Aboriginal Camp in Lower Canada | M19893
Aboriginal Camp in Lower Canada
Cornelius Krieghoff (1815-1872)
1847, 19th century
M19893
Source Link

Curiously, Krieghoff never painted a paddle shaft extending into the background which gives the image a bit of distorted look. Still, the vibrant colours on the blade make for a uniquely decorated paddle image. 


Paddle Blade Closeup

I'm not the first person to replicate this sort of decoration. Blog reader, Nigel, used this pattern to decorate the blade of his Edenwood Northwoods Paddle back in 2012 with lovely results.

Nigel's Decorated Blade



Nigel's Decorated Edenwood Paddle

In 1848, Krieghoff created another piece based on his original oil with some minor modifications. The image was retitled, " Indian Wigwam in Lower Canada" and was used to create a lithograph for publication. In Krieghoff's updated version, a decorated shaft and pronounced ball shaped grip are now in view. The artist also decided to reverse the chevron pattern on the blade so that the decorations are now "pointing" up towards the grip rather than down towards the blade tip. Many of these greyscale lithographs were subsequently hand coloured by other artists resulting in subtle variations of the decorative pattern. Those variations were discussed thoroughly in this post here.

For my version, a decision was made to decorate one side according to the dominant pattern found in my research - a repeating Red - Blue - Yellow pattern on one side, much like the version in the National Gallery of Canada.

Indian Wigwam in Lower Canada
Cornelius Krieghoff
Lithograph with watercolour on wove paper
National Gallery of Canada
Credit line: Gift of Donald Maclaren, Ottawa, 1990
Accession number: 30820


The carving photos were part of the extensive set lost on a damage memory card, but I was able to shape a small bobble grip and did my best to approximate the blade shape from the artwork. Painting has never been my strong suit, especially colour matching and mixing. In the end, I just used some Tremclad paints that were available in small sample sizes to capture the spirit of the original, gaudily decorated paddle.

Krieghoff Paddle Replica


On the alternate side, I decided to deviate a bit and follow the pattern found on the copy of the  Toronto Public Library Special Collections Archive

Indian Wigwam in Lower Canada (1848)
Creator: Cornelius Krieghoff, 1815-1872
Contributors:Thomas Kammerer; Andreas Borum, 1799-1853
Identifier: 022kieghoff-inidan-wigwam
Rights: Public domain
Gift of the Bain family - 2008.
Courtesy: Toronto Public Library


This coloured lithograph has  more significant pattern change. The chevron pattern is Yellow - Red - Blue - Red - Yellow - Blue and the banded decoration on the shaft has been replaced with an all red.  A decision was made use a different, brighter blue for this side. Again not even close to a colour match on the original, but it was the best I could do.

Krieghoff Paddle Replica  - alternate side



2 comments:

Bruce Clark said...

You didn't attend Queen's University by any chance did you?
Those are Queen's colours! You'd look right at home in Kingston paddling on the Cataraqui River...

Oil Thigh!

Murat said...

No Bruce, didn't go to Queen's. Very interesting that they are the Queen's U colours though. I wonder if they were chosen by the artist because they are primary colours or if he saw an actual paddle like this.

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